Document Type: 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
July 14, 2010
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Publication Date: 
March 1, 1981
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00845R000100160051-4.pdf146.54 KB
Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/07/14: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100160051-4 ,kRTICLJ APPS=~ PAG3-.- ON MOTHER JONES Feb./March 1981 . $ '- THE FEDS Byleff Sreir The 'Tre~cl~co~~s 4 T he morning after the Re- publican election victory, Louis. Wolf went to work as usual in the National Press Building, a few blocks from the White House. Bleary-eyed from the long election night, Wolf bought coffee at the take- out counter in the lobby and,' with an armload of newspa- pers, slipped into the elevator crowded with reporters for the five-floor ride to his office. By four o'clock `that after- noon, the- slim 40-year-old man began pasting strips of copy on layout sheets for his publication. On the strips were names-names of Central In- telligence Agency undercover officers in American embas- sies around the world. Lou Wolf has been exposing the identities of CIA agents for about five years now. He and his associates-Washington, D.C., attorney- William Schaap and filmmaker Ellen M--- Ray-have, with the help of renegade for-. mer CIA agent Philip Agee, ripped the cover off more than 2,00.0 officers in the "pages of their journal, Covert Action In- formation Bulletin, and ire two books: Dir- ty Work 1: the CIA in Western Europe and Dirty Work 11. the CIA in Africa. The CIA,.and now the Congress, has labeled these four people everything from traitors to Russian agents. But for the past five years, legislation to put them out of business has been stymied by a wobbly congressional concern for. the First' Amendment and by revelations during the -'70s of CIA misdeeds-dossiers on American citizens, assassination at- tempts, the set-up of the coup in Chile. But now, times have changed. On the congressional, docket is the Intelligence Identities Protection Act,. which would make it a crime punishable by three years in jail and a $10,000 fine to publish the names of CIA personnel, even if the infor- mation has been gathered from public sources. Prospects for the bill's passage were favorable even in last year's Democrat- controlled Congress. They have been ad- vanced immeasurably by the November defeat of half a dozen key liberals and by the rantings of groups like the Heritage Foundation, demanding that Congress act on "domestic terrorists." The bill's prob- able passage this year will set the stage for a classic First Amendment showdown with unpredictable results. In the months ahead, the Intelligence Identities Protec- tion Act and the constitutional issues raised by it-just what can journalists re- veal about the CIA-may prove an impor- tant indicator of the Reagan administra- tion's real interest in restricting free speech and progressive political debate. Bill Schaap put it succinctly: "For more than a year now, we've been saying to the press that there's no such thing as a bill against us and not against you." And as Schaap has pointed out again and again, there are clearly unconstituti onal aspects to the act. Under the legislation, it would be illegal not only to publish the names of CIA personnel gathered from public "Yeah," responded Ted Kennedy, his eyes fixed on the text of the legislation. The bill stalled after passing the com- mittee and will have to be rein- troduced in the current session of Congress. When "getting Agee" or "getting" Covert Action Infor- mation Bulletin becomes the task, when it is paramount to pass legislation aimed not at restricting government infor- mation but at restricting publi- cation of information about uncomfortable realities, then we are faced with a constitutional threat on a new scale. T he CIA has been gritting its teeth' over Covert Action Information Bul- letin (and its predecessor, Counterspy, a publication which continues under differ- ent management) for years, trying unsuc- cessfully through a series of propaganda maneuvers to rustle up widespread sup- port for jailing its editors. The problems for the journal began with the murder of . - Richard Welch. - In December 1975, official Washington, and especially the intelligence commun- ity, was in a tumult. Nixon had been top- pled. The Church Committee, the Rock- efeller Commission and the press were dragging CIA skeletons out of the closet one by one: Cuba; the Cgngo; Chile; Bra- zil; Guatemala; and Operations Phoenix, MK-ULTRA and CHAOS. Assassina- tion attempts, drug testing, mail openings, break-ins. CIA efforts to move covertly into Angola were thwarted by intelligence agency critics. STAT Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2010/07/14: CIA-RDP90-00845R000100160051-4